Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe campaign tour stopped in Lloydminster to speak on provincial issues alongside incumbent MLA Colleen Young.
Speaking about the province’s response to COVID-19 at Young’s campaign office, Moe thanked Lloydminster and surrounding area residents for low positive cases in recent months.
“The region’s success is due to the decisions each of us is making as individuals that are stopping the spread of COVID-19. My hats off to each and every person in Lloydminster because we have had some very good numbers here.”
Moe said they’re always looking at the public health parameters to see what can be tweaked.
“We do need to be careful. We’re going into Thanksgiving weekend here right now. This is a time for us to again, to reassess and reevaluate and ensure that as we come together for Thanksgiving that we’re not creating that opportunity to have an outbreak in one of our communities or one of our families.”
As of October 8th, the province has 143 active COVID-19 cases out of 2,012 reported since March.
The North West region, which includes Lloydminster, has one active case that was recorded within the past 24 hours.
As many have been affected in different ways by the pandemic, the province continues its efforts to bring mental health tools into communities.
“We need to have it at the community level, and the family level as well. We have consistently increased our funding to mental health and addictions here in the province. We’re up to about 7 per cent of our health budget now with $430 million that is invested each and every year in mental health supports.”
He said it grows more relevant each year, especially during the pandemic.
Young and Moe have been in conversations on the bi-provincial troubles with health care in the City being on the border.
“That road right there with those big orange pegs, it actually does mean something when it comes to jurisdiction on these. Mayor Aalbers has been working closely with us on that and other issues.”
Young stepped in to mention the partnership between the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments for the recently announced renovations to both high schools.
The province is also working to improve the need for doctors and nurses within the city.
“I think that there are differences between both colleges of medicine as well as both nursing unions, those kinds of things come into play. Our ambulance services are part of the challenge as well. It takes both provinces to come to the table, and have those hard conversations in order to find out which is the best way to provide services to all of our citizens.”
Before heading to Lloyd, Moe was in the Battlefords yesterday morning where he made several promises for seniors.
These include reduced seniors’ fees for ambulance rides, increasing the Seniors Income Plan and hiring 300 new continuing care aides (CCA).
He mentioned the continued effort to retain health workers in communities across the province.
“I can remember back to 2007, prior to my being elected. And I myself volunteered with physician recruitment in the community where we were, and we have shortages right across this province. And each and every community it seemed like had a, a position retention recruitment committee that was advocating for their particular community.”
The province currently has 900 physicians and 3600 nurses working in the province.
Out of the 300 new CCA, 180 will go into the long term care system, which should be an extra worker for every 50 patients.
“That will help with a higher level of care and also help with easing some of the load that we know that many of our CCA’s have on a daily basis, but also ensuring that we’re able to continue with our cohorting of staff.”
The other 120 aides are going to go directly into urban and rural home care.
“This will affect not only the community of Lloydminster, buts the surrounding area as well. This is again just adding to our resources to ensure that those that want to stay in their home will be able to stay in their home for a longer period of time with some additional access to care services.”
Moe stated the federal government needs to recognize the energy productions importance stating they need to take action so that industries can remain competitive.
This includes removing the carbon tax.
“Some of the most sustainable changes in energy production are happening within a stone’s throw of this community”.
A focus of Young’s has been the need for better cell phone and internet services in the constituency. The province is continue looking at investing in upgrades to these services.
Saskatchewan voters will head to the polls on October 26th.